MSU Elections Executive Candidates – Lauren O’Neill, VP for Welfare and Equality

What inspired you to run for VP Welfare and Equality?

I have always been interested in the Welfare of Students, I was on student council in school as of this. After having both Siona and Karen as my Welfare Officers I feel like I can take the best parts of them and add my personality to make a great Welfare and Equality Officer.


How long have you been thinking about running ?

I have been thinking about running since nearly the beginning of the year. A close friend asked me what I wanted to do after graduation and I was unsure, however they suggested that I run for this and I am so glad that they did.


Have you been involved in the student union or student politics before ?

I have not been involved in the student union apart from Welfare Crew but I feel that I have been an avid member who has always been willing to give out a cup of tea, food or endlessly packing condoms. While I have not been involved in politics in Maynooth as said above I was on the student council in school so do have some experience in the field.


If elected what positive differences would you make to the Student Union and Student body as a whole?

It was pointed out to me today by a friend that many of the doors on campus including the doors into the SU are not easily accessible to wheelchair students, I want to look into if this can be changed as the SU should be a place everyone can access easily if it be for an event, a drink of to talk to one of the sabats. I hope to promote the anti bullying campaign so more students are aware of it and it may stop bullying before it happens.


What is the story with the Lemon?

My initials spell out Lemon, Lauren Elizabeth Marie O Neill.


Welfare and Equality is the biggest race this year, what are your thoughts on this ? And has this intimidated you at all ?

I am both glad and scared about the fact that this is the biggest race. I love the fact that so many people care about the welfare of the students and want to make a difference. I wouldn’t say that I am intimidated but apprehensive maybe. It is going to be a tight race as we all bring something different to the table. Hopefully it goes my way March 8th.


In your manifesto you mention the anti-bullying policy, honesty I was not aware we had one or where it was. What  would you do to make students more aware of this ?

I was not aware that we had an anti-bullying policy either until it was pointed out to me. Karen told me that she thinks it is called the ‘Policy on the protection of dignity of students and staff” but after searching this I still have not found it. I will continue looking and when found I plan to maybe put it in the freshers survival guide so all new students have it as well as up on the Welfare Officers page and if possible send it to all students via email also.


Finally, why should students vote for you ?

I think that students should vote for me as Maynooth is in my blood. I only live 5 minutes away and grew up on South Campus having picnics and going to the pool with my aunt as she was a lifeguard there while attending the college. I think that I have many different ideas from my other candidates as well as the previous Welfare Officers. I feel like it is important not to be a copy of Siona or Karen but to be me. Welfare Crew has been a big part of me since 1st year and I would not be the person I am today without it.I feel like I know a lot of people in college and am very approachable so I think that I would be easy to talk to. I hope that I can get your number 1 vote March 8th. (Also my cousin is planning on coming here next year and I would love to be her welfare officer so she at least knows someone on campus)